Tradition | Excellence | Opportunity
Founded in 1856.

The Grey Vision
Grey remains as one of the leading schools in the country, with a culture and value system that support its fine heritage.
Grey is recognised for its competitiveness and excellence in academic, sporting and cultural activities, as well as for its ability to consistently produce leaders.
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Mr Jonathan van Niekerk
Click here email Mr van Niekerk

 Assistant Staff:
Mrs Marzane McCleland
Mr Stephen van Niekerk

Coaching team:
Anthony Lightening
Francois Vorster
Anthony Adendorff


Rowing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. It requires great levels of concentration and mental toughness, in order to endure the training, and the burning muscles during a race. Almost every muscle in the body is used when rowing allowing juniors to develop naturally and healthily, throughout their training. As a rower at Grey, you have the opportunity to do a large amount of travelling to races all over South Africa. The club has travelled to East London, Knysna, Grahamstown, Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria in order to race, the latter being SA Schools Championships. We are a successful club on both national and international level. For the past 3 years we have had rowers racing at the Belgium International Regatta. In 2014 two of our U16s were selected to represent South African Schools Rowing in Belgium. They took part in 3 events combined with Western Cape rowers, to form the crews. Not only did they race well, but they brought back gold and silver. Unfortunately rowing does require a lot of equipment, as well as a decent stretch of water! However Grey Rowing Club has built up a very good inventory of the necessities in rowing, as you can see below.


Bob Bruce, as President of the PE Rowing Club, approached Rector Bruce Gordon about starting rowing at Grey. This was refused on the grounds that Grey already offered more than enough sporting opportunities. However, Mr Gordon agreed that boys could row as Grey under the auspices of the PE Rowing Club. Names such as Hewie Puttergill and Barry Cullingworth were prominent. In the 1950’s there was mention of Grey as champions. Unfortunately, Grey crews declined after a few years and disappeared.

1977 Started Rowing Club again with 20 members. ZRC donated a coxed four (Binker Arnold)
1979 Binker Arnold withdrawn from service. Only one U14 crew.
1980 Use of a pair
1981 Floods destroy Grey boat in ZRC boathouse. UPE and Buffalo Rowing Club assist us with a boat
1982 First Rowing camp at Redhouse. First win (1st 4+ beats Selborne College). Acquired a 4+ from St Andrews College (Apollo)
1983 Apollo broke in half in Cape Town. Had to use borrowed boat. Went to SA Championships.
1984 No wins. New coxed 4+ arrives from England.
1985 Hosted Border Champs at North End Lake
1987 Given 3 boats by SA Schools Rowing
1989 Purchased a motor boat and motor
1990 Two sculls donated by Cumar. Boat trailer constructed by Welfit Oddy.
1991 S&B 8+ purchased. New boathouse completed by rowing parents, supported by ZRC and Grey High School
1992 New 2X purchased. First wins in sculls.
1993 Rowing Parents’ Committee established. Carbon fibre blades purchased.
1996 John Waugh 4x purchased for R38 000, named Lady Williams Hunt
1999 Barry Banks initiated the Knysna Regatta. 1st Crew travels to Henley Regatta.
2003 New Severin 8+ purchased, named Lady Simpson
2005 Mr Jan Blom from Holland appointed as Professional Coach. Went on to start NEMATO club in Port Alfred. 4am training sessions stopped
2006 Flood in August. All boats except an 8+ and 4X damaged. Damage nearly R300 000. Mad rushes to and from JHB for repairs. New boats: Coxed Four (George Dock – damaged in flood when only 4 weeks old), and two coxed quads from Collegiate.
2007 Mr George Dock retired. New double arrives, named Lady Meredith. Nick Rowett from UK was hired on six-month contracts as professional coach until 2010. This heralded a change in focus towards small sculling boats in order to boost the basics of rowing. We started to win many more races, thus rebuilding the profile of Grey as winners.
2008 Lavin Geach wins the gold medal in the U16 Single Sculls and Jason Fischer won silver in the U15 Single Sculls at SA Schools’ Championships. Lady Simpson is converted to an Octopul, the first 16-bladed sculling boat in the province.
2009 4 Gold medals won at the Schools’ championships. New lightweight double, Flash Gordon, purchased for R73 000.
2010 Lavin Geach becomes the first Grey Rower to win the U19 1st Single Sculls at SA Schools’ Championships. He then teamed up with Craig Jones to win bronze in the U19 double Sculls Final.
2011 Mr Geoffrey Jones appointed as head coach for one season.
2012 Mr Benjamin Ekron appointed as head coach. Oscar Hobson represented the SA School’s U16 Development Team in Belgium.
2013 Keagan Adendorff represented the SA School’s U16 Development Team in Belgium.
2014 Archie Rabie donated by Mr Danie Rabie on behalf of the Rabie Trust.  Robert Stevens and Ben Pio represented the SA School’s U16 Development Team in Belgium.
2015 The U16A Quad wins Bronze at the SA Schools’ Championships.
2017 At SA Schools’ Championships, U16A Quad wins Silver and U19 Double wins Bronze.
2018 Mr Steve van Niekerk retires as Master-in-Charge after 12 years of service. Mr Benjamin Ekron is appointed as Master-in-Charge, and remains Head Coach.
2019 Mr Ekron leaves Grey and takes up a teaching position in Qatar. Mr Jonathan van Niekerk is appointed as Master-in-Charge, and Mr Reinhardt Oborn takes over as Head Coach. New John Waugh single scull (“Phantom”) purchased.
2020 At SA Schools’ Championships, the U15A Double wins Silver and the U14a Quad wins Bronze. New John Waugh Double (“Lady Pakendorff”) purchased.  Covid-19 leads to the cancellation of all Term 4 regattas.
2020 The new Grey Rowing ergo room (aptly named “The Pumphouse”) is opened at the Aquatics Centre.
2021 At SA Nationals, the following crews medal: U16A Double (Gold), U19 Four (Silver), U15 Quad (Silver), U16 Four (Bronze).

Coaching Staff

The coaching staff comprises of staff members, students and one professional coach.

Mr Jonathan van Niekerk
Click here to email Mr van Niekerk

Head Coach:

Mr Reinhardt Oborn

Assistant Staff:
Mrs Marzane Meyer

Mr Stephen van Niekerk


Team Coach
U19 Mr Alastair Macphail; Mr Reinhardt Oborn
U16 Mr Chris McLeod; Mr Chad Cuthbertson
U15 Mr Cameron Wilke; Mr Connor Damin
U14 Mr Dylann Chapman; Mr Adam Grosse
Assistant coach Prof. Chris Adendorff


South African Schools’ Rowing Union

Rowing South Africa

National Squad

Additional Information

What is Rowing?

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Rowing Terms Explained

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Rowing is proudly sponsored by:

Click on the logo to go directly through to the companies who support Grey. On contact please mention you were referred from Grey High School.